Document Type

Finding a Fit: Family Realities and Service Responses Series (2003, 2007)

Publication Date



Faculty of Social Work


Placing a child in substitute care is one of the most challenging aspects of child welfare work. In situations of apprehension, child welfare workers may be required to make quick decisions about child placement sometimes with very limited information. This paper is based on interviews with mothers whose children were placed in substitute care. Mothers’ daily lives, including the nature of adversity in their lives, will be discussed. Mothers’ response to adversity and how they are impacted both positively and negatively by child welfare interventions will also be explored. Their experiences of placement reveals there is a disconnection between the primary interventions used by child welfare workers and the daily living realities of mothers. How the views of mothers might inform child welfare interventions and broader systems will be explored.